The San Francisco 49ers will likely be without wide receiver DeAndre Smelter this week when they face the Denver Broncos in a joint practice and then in a game on Saturday. Head coach Chip Kelly said Smelter is week-to-week, but did not go into detail. Smelter was returning from a torn ACL, suffered two seasons ago. He dealt with a hamstring injury in OTAs, and has not been getting as much practice time as the other receivers in training camp.
Smelter was supremely talented in college, but the torn ACL resulted in his draft stock slipping. The 49ers spent a fourth round pick on him and stashed him in 2015. He had a big opportunity in front of him this season with Anquan Boldin’s departure, but this new injury is costing him in a big way.
There have been suggestions that he might spend this season on IR. Given the ability to bring a player back one player from IR without needing the return designation anymore, that seems more and more likely. If he makes it back, great, but if he can’t get back this season, he becomes yet another potentially lost pick.